Radio

How much time it’s been since you last listened to radio? Or maybe an anchor on tv? Or anybody who is addressing the crowd in our country? They all start with one and the same sentence.
‘Hello, namastey, aadaab, sat sri akal.’
I was listening to radio today after a very long time while working in the kitchen (I am proud to say that cooking for me is not limited to the two minute maggi noodles.) and I heard the presenter on the radio starting off with the salutation to all major religions in India and I immediately felt a surge of pride in myself with sudden and strange realisation of the long known fact that I live in a country where religious freedom is a fundamental right, where even the government is not allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion and where “Sarva Dharma Sambhaav” (Equal sentiments for all religions) is the motto taught to us from the start.
A sense of betrayal and shame followed thinking that every now and then it is made clear and widely known by the extremists ( be it the Muslim extremists killing kashmiri pandits in J&K or the saffron terror organisation responsible for blast near mosques) that despite the teachings, there are those who don’t think that way, who would prefer the whole country belonging to them only. But I could feel at ease knowing that all the secularism is also not limited just to the constitution. I was trying to hold on to the pride thinking that the secular phenomena have been used as one of the pillars in the constitution and have been upheld by the apex court every time when questions were raised on its necessity and authenticity.
I have been in contact with people of both secular and extremely religious mentality. Extreme like the mob which recently killed a Muslim farmer just on he basis of a rumor that he had eaten and stored beef. They beat him to death.
Thinking about the incident the astronomical amount of pride that I had felt, started to fade away. In seconds, my head was full of many such horrific incidents and feelings like guilt and disgust had taken over my mind.
By the time the radio jockey was done talking and a song had started playing, I knew the lyrics and started humming in symphony and shifted my focus on the potatoes turning into charcoal in the oven. The ocean full of emotions and thoughts had suddenly become microscopic and soon disappeared in the sound of music. I was singing along with the radio now, “Desh rangeela rangeela, desh mera rangeela”.

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